I want to refine the statement I made at Tuesday's Town Council meeting. Like the Town of Silver City, Albuquerque and Las Cruces are recycling those materials for which there is a market, such as cardboard and metal. However, reality is, especially with the recent closing of other markets like Malaysia https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/04/26/asia/malaysia-plastic-recycle-intl/index.html?r=https%3A% 2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F , there is no market for most plastics and other materials that are part of the Town of Silver City's single stream recycling. As we recently learned, the bulk of our single stream that we thought we were recycling was actually being placed in the landfill after sending it to Freeman.
Next steps locally are to suspend the single stream recycling program on July 1, while providing large recycling collection bins for cardboard only in locations around Silver City; continue to accept metal at the landfill for recycling; begin an education program centered on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and the need to ensure that materials to be recycled are completely free from food and other residue; potentially create a fund that supports creative, innovate ways for adaptive reuse of plastics and other material; and to collaborate with other communities to find solutions for our common recycling dilemma.
I am hopeful that markets can reopen in the future for materials other than cardboard and metal. In the meantime, if each individual and family begins to make small changes to reduce waste, such as using refillable containers for water and beverages and using reusable containers for storing food these actions will significantly reduce what is being sent to our landfill.